Writing Letters That Bring Healing

Letters are an opportunity to pour into, encourage, and be a part of healing in the life of the child or family you sponsor. You have the opportunity to help shape their belief system regarding what they believe about others, themselves, and God. Your letter communicates they are valued, important, unique, and not forgotten

Things to consider as you write your letter

  • Consider reminding them about his or her true identity in Christ. Share a testimony or favorite Bible passage and why it is important to you.
  • Share how important he or she is to your family (i.e. our family remembers you in our prayers).
  • Remind them of all the good you’ve seen displayed in their character (i.e. you are smart, you are helpful, you are a hard worker, you care about your siblings, you are brave).
  • Consider sharing what you’ve learned about how to have a strong marriage and/or strong friendships. Send a photo of your family, friends, of you at your job, or a picture of your family pet—they love to see different aspects of your life.
  • Consider sharing about your job, what your favorite aspect of your job is, how you decided to pursue your job. Share about the positive activities you’re involved in, and ways you serve your church and community.
  • Encourage their studies by asking them how school is going. This communicates you care about their education.
  • Be patient and give them time to develop the skill of letter writing. They may share the same information multiple times.
  • If a group of people sponsors a child or family, it is best if one person writes, to cut down on any potential confusion.
  • Please keep letters to an appropriate length, being mindful a staff person will translate for you.

Questions to Consider Asking Your sponsored Child or Family

  • What activities do you enjoy?
  • Who is your favorite teacher and why?
  • Who do you admire and why?
  • How did you get your name? What does it mean?
  • What is your favorite part of school? Why?
  • What is your least favorite part of school? Why?
  • What happens during a typical school day?
  • What do you like most about the country/place you live in?
  • What are some interesting facts about your state/province/region?
  • What’s your favorite holiday? How do you celebrate?
  • What are you learning right now?
  • What’s one of your favorite Bible stories or passages?
  • What would you like me to know about your country?
  • How can I pray for you?
  • What is one of your favorite meals? How do you prepare it?
  • Do you have any goals for yourself? Have you made any progress toward those goals?
  • If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
  • Who are your friends? Tell me about them!

You can ask yourself these questions when thinking through what to write to your sponsored Child or Family

  • Do you know Jesus? How did you come to know Jesus? 
  • What is a challenge you have had to overcome?
  • What activities do you enjoy? 
  • Who do you admire? Why?  
  • What is your typical day like? 
  • What do you like most about the country/place you live in? 
  • What are some interesting facts about your state/province/region? 
  • What is your favorite holiday? How do you celebrate? 
  • What are you learning right now? 
  • What’s one of your favorite Bible stories or passages? Why? 
  • What do you believe is God’s purpose for your life? 
  • How has God been faithful to you? 
  • What prayers has God answered in your life?  
  • How have you sensed God’s leading at different points of your life? 
  • What’s one of your favorite Bible stories or passages? Why? 
  • What do you believe is God’s purpose for your life? 
  • How has God been faithful to you? 
  • What prayers has God answered in your life? 
  • How has God recently answered your prayer? 
  • How have you sensed God’s leading at different points of your life? 
  • How has God comforted you in trouble? 
  • Why do you love God? 
  • What was the latest sermon you heard or class study about? How has it impacted you?

Topics to avoid

  • Inviting or talking about a child or family member coming to America.
  • Asking questions about their past. Many of the children we work with have some sort of trauma or abuse in their past. Instead, focus on their present and future.
  • Going into detail about material possessions.
  • Asking if they have a boyfriend or girlfriend. We do not want to encourage the need for a romantic relationship.
  • Calling the child you sponsor “son” or “daughter.” These terms have different meanings in different cultures, and it is important to keep healthy boundaries in place.
  • Making promises you are not certain you can keep, such as plans to visit them. It is better to not make promises, in case things do not work out.
  • Asking them what they would like as a gift from you. We want to encourage healthy relationships between sponsors and children, and do not want the children to be tempted to look to you for material possessions and gifts.

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